We are very fortunate to have jobs that are also kind of like our hobbies. Music is what we teach day by day but we also get to play (and enjoy, and love) music outside of work. Honestly it doesn’t even always feel like we have jobs because we love music and music IS our job. Many people don’t like their jobs most days and wouldn’t want to do anything related to it outside of work. I love my job everyday and love getting to do more of it outside of the work day!
Even more fortunate is that at the start of the summer of 2017 we got to have five different musical events lined up to play at!
It started with me getting to play bass for the debut production of a great new non-profit in northern Maine. This organization was set up to bring theater experience to students ages 11-19 and their first show? Sondheim’s Into the Woods! If you don’t know the show or the music it’s really wonderful stuff. I have played this musical twice before this run and it was great to be part of something that’s so wonderful to the community! No pictures because it was a student production but you can find tons of Into the Woods stuff on Youtube.
Just a week after the Motown group the Star City Syndicate got to play at the riverside in Presque Isle to a wonderfully big and receptive crowd! The group played a two and a half hour set and it flew by as if it were 15 minutes. When it was all said and done I think I could have gone for another couple hours.
Here’s a short clip! You can even hear the cool bass fill if you listen carefully at 9 seconds in!
We were supposed to play a short jazz set two days later but unfortunately it got rained out… that’s weather in Maine for you!
Three days later the Motown band was back at it playing at a local summer-fest. This gig was inside my school so it was a decent turnout for sure! This set was a bit a bit shorter but still a blast to play.
Notice how we both are doing exactly what we need to get through this gig… I’ve got a cold brew coffee on my amp and Jenna is… well taking a cat nap before we play!
And finally, one week later I was double booked for gigs. That’s a good problem to have. I started my day playing downstate at the East Millinocket summer-fest and traveled up the Oakfield for the last Motown gig for about a month.
The East Millinocket thing is one of those throw together gigs. I didn’t know who I was playing with, what I was playing, or actually how long I was playing for. You may be surprised to know that this is not super uncommon for certain musical events. It turned out to be one trumpet, one guitar, 2 vocalists, a piano and a mandolin (but only for the last 8 measures of the last song). Interesting… you bet. The clouds were building but held off for summerfest.
Originally the Motown band was supposed to play outside in a town called Oakfield. The rain was POURING though and we got moved to inside a church right next to the bandstand. It’s probably for the better because the bandstand would have never held all 18 of us.
The problem with playing inside with a large group is space. It’s tough to fit us all in an enclosed space and not be right on top of each other. Churches are also usually very live in their sound (echo echo echo…) and this was no exception. Needless to say we could hear ourselves VERY well. We all wore earplugs and it was still loud!
The crowd for this show was great though! I don’t think I’ve seen a crowd enjoy themselves more than the one in Oakfield. They sang, the dances, they line-danced, and the cheered. It was a small crowd dealing with a loud and hot church but they were troopers and made it an absolute BLAST to play. We were invited back and with a crowd like that I’m all for it!
It was a hectic day but I wouldn’t change a thing. Nothing makes me feel more like a musician than well, PLAYING MUSIC. I surely do enjoy being a musician.
It was a great run of concerts with a lot of good memories made. It never felt like work (besides maybe set up and take down…) it surely made us feel full of life. Besides, we couldn’t call our site Jazzed For Veggies if we didn’t get the jazz in there once in awhile!
And there are still gigs to come this summer!